Sunday, December 19, 2010

We're Back!!!

After at least a five year hiatus, we were back at VIR (Virginia International Raceway). Mike used to go there often to ride his motorcycle on the track. He hung that up a few years ago. Well his wild hair has grown back and now he's back on the track except this time it's in a car. We bought an old Porshe 911 right around Thanksgiving. The weekend after Thanksgiving we were up at VIR for his first track day.

This is an event were people bring their cars and right on the road coarse. There are about 4 different groups based on experience and ability. Since this was Mike's first time he had decided to have an instructor ride with him. There were all kinds of cars there with the most popular being Porshes, Corevettes, and BMWs. There were a few Mini's and Mustangs as well as some Mustangs. It was neat to see all the cars on the track.

Mike went up Friday night and I got there Saturday at about noon. Just our luck, it was cold as all heck. It actually snowed toward the end of the day on Saturday. I don't know if this was caused by the snow or not...

This was the only wreck of the weekend (a BIG difference between the cars and the bikes). This was a nice Viper. No one was hurt. There were some pretty serious drivers out there and this was one of the nicer cars. Sucks for him. As you can see, there is snow on the ground.

This is the scene at the end of the day on Saturday. Mike kept getting better and better as the day went on. I took my Jeep up there so I was able to drive around todifferent parts of the track and watch the cars. I took my Ipad and downloaded a stopwatch app and was able to track his time.
This was the scene at the track on Sunday morning. I bet not too many people have seen VIR with snow on the ground. It was very pretty. I drove around and took a few pictures before it melted.

It melted before too long and it didn't keep the cars off the track at all. Sunday was fun and Mike got lots of track time. I don't have the exact times but I think his time improved from 2:54 to 2:38. He only scared his instructor once!! The fastest car we timed did the course in 2:01!! Wow, that's fast.
Here's Mike's little car on the track. A lot of the other cars had more horsepower than him but his instructor said that with the setup he had he probably couldn't go much faster. We'll probably do about 3 track days a year. Nothing too crazy.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm Thankful For...

With Thanksgiving this week, I thought is only appropriate to compile a list of the things I'm thankful for. In no particular order...
  1. Sunday morning walks with the dogs (or, actually, it's usually just Foggy because Yana is too lazy to go).

  2. Ice Cream - especially Food Lion's Strawberry Cheesecake, yummy!!!
  3. DVR. How in the heck did I live without this invention for so many years??
  4. Big bear hugs from my dad.
  5. That my husband doesn't mind that I'm not a prissy girl.
  6. My job
  7. My bed. I looove getting under the covers at night. Ah, it feels so good!!
  8. Yana. What can I say...she is a nutcase!

  9. My electric skillet. Why oh why did I not buy one of these earlier in life??
  10. Discovering Fantasy baseball and football.
  11. That my sister Susan is a good sport when Mike mercilessly trash talks her Fantasy team.

  12. Jack Reacher. Only the most bad ass character in literature today!
  13. Short drives to work.
  14. That my husband is my best friend.
  15. XM radio
  16. That Mike hasn't killed me while trying to type an email on that God-for-saken blackberry while driving.
  17. Sports
  18. The McRib
  19. My patience. Just checking to make sure you're paying attention :)

  20. Heated bathroom tile. Forget welfare, heated bathroom tile should be a government subsidy.

21. The E-Trade baby

Of course, I'm thankful for all my friends and family. It was good to see my little nieces on Thursday. They are funny, funny kids.

Monday, November 15, 2010

This Is How I Roll

Pay back's a ....well, you get the point. It was time for some revenge on my co-worker, Ron. I don't know if you remember, but last Christmas we pulled a prank on Ron. We had all decorated our door for Christmas. We took his door off of the hinges and hid it. It was classic!!!

Well, Ron isn't one to roll over and just take it. In April, Ron (well, I believe he made his co-workers do it) filled my entire office with PE balls. There were exercise balls, soccer balls, footballs, beach balls, etc. I couldn't get the door to my office open. I have to admit, it was a good one.

I just waited until it was time. I had to get Ron back when his guard was down. Also, Christmas is just around the corner so I needed to remind him that you don't mess with Finance!! John (my co-worker) and I tried to stay late one night. We went to dinner and got back at about 6:15 and Ron was still at work. We had to abort the mission. Then, a few weeks later, I stayed until about 5:30 and we was still there again. Does the man never go home??? So, that was it. I decided to just come in one weekend and make it happen.

This is what Ron found on the outside of his door last Monday morning:

This is what he found once he opened the door to his office:

Pretty impressive huh?? I'll tell you, a 200 yard roll of plastic wrap will go a long way. Just to top it off, there was final piece to the prank. We have a meeting every Monday morning. Everyone sits in the same chair. So, I plastic wrapped that chair too. I left him a pair of scissors sitting on the table in front of his chair. It was great. Everyone, including Ron, was impressed.

Now, I know that my time will be coming. I just don't know when or where. I do know that it will be an all out war during this year's Christmas door decorating contest. I'll be accepting suggestions for my next prank because I need all the help I can get.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Last weekend, Mike and I left work early on Friday and we were off to Kentucky. Let me just say that I love Kentucky. It really is a beautiful state. I love all the horses and the horse farms. People love to tell you that some Shak has a house and horses there. Someone told us that Queen Elizabeth has a house there and that she keeps her brood mare there as well. We went to pick up a motorcycle (surprise, surprise). We got it Friday night so we were able to ride it around a bit on Saturday morning. We just explored some back roads around the Frankfurt area. It was a bit chilly but the scenery was worth it.

It just so happened that it was the last weekend of horse racing at Keeneland. We'd never been to a horse race before. We do love some dog racing, so we figured we'd like the horse racing too. It goes without saying that horse racing is a much more refined sport than the dog racing. The race track at Keeneland puts the dog track in the parking lot of the Daytona Speedway to shame. We didn't know what to expect. There were a lot of people there. Some were dressed like us (in jeans) and then others were dressed up fancy.

This is the outside of the track.

This is the inside of the track. We paid a little extra to get a reserved seat. You could stand down by the rails but you really couldn't see too good. We had a good view of the entire track, the finish line and the tote board (so we could watch the money roll in). Just like the dogs, you can place $2 bets. We started off strong (beginners luck).

Notice how you can see the horse farms in the background.

These are the race horses being led to the starting gate.

And they're off....
We had fun watching the races. Our only complaint is that it took too long between races. There was about 30 minutes between races. So, you'd have about 2 minutes of racing and then 30 minutes of down time. During that down time, we'd walk down to see the horses that were about to race.

They'd walk them around these old oak trees. You could look at the horses and pick out the winner before you place your bet. If you were someone of importance, you could be inside that area and be up close and personal with the horses.

Then the jockeys would mount the horse and walk past the crowd, under the seats, and out onto the track.

We left before the last races but it was definitely worth doing.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sitting Dux

After much anticipation, trash talk, and no preparation what so ever, the Sitting Dux made their dodgeball debut on Tuesday. I sent out the all call to my admin co-workers to form a dodgeball team and only one, Kelly, answered the call. She recruited her 9 year old daughter, Quinn. Three down, three to go. Dale Fox, the 57 year-old Driver's Ed coordinator was my next recruit. He ended up being our ace in the hole. He recruited our other two players - Scott and Josh, two P.E. teachers and members of the district softball team (I think).

This is the team...

Pretty intimidating huh??!! Check out the two younger guys, Scott and Josh, on the back row. I met them for the first time at the game on Tuesday. Wow, they were way too over-qualified to play on the Sitting Dux. Sorry guys!!

We go in the gym and we find out we're the 7th game. So, we have six games to watch and learn. Well, actually, what Kelly and I learned was that we were scared. This was serious business. These dudes could hurl a dodgeball. I had envisioned PE class dodgeball that I played at Robinson Elem. You know, everyone get in a circle and throw a rubber kick ball at the people in the middle. Well, like most things, dodgeball has come a long way since then. Now, you play with small, light weight balls and each team is on opposite sides of each other. One thing Kelly and I knew for sure, we didn't want to be the last person left on our team.

Our team was up and we hadn't even talked strategy. This was going to be bad. Each game has a 3 minute time limit. Here we go...

This is the dash to the balls at the beginning of the game. Notice how we sent the 9-year old to get one of the balls and I'm nowhere to be seen. That was my strategy. All I can say is I have no idea what happened from there. I couldn't even tell you what the other team looked like. Balls were flying every where. It was utter chaos. I had no dilutions of grandeur. I just tried to stay in the back and not get hit. There are two things that I do remember vividly. First, Dale hit some guy right in the crotch. Secondly, one of our big dudes had the shot of the tournament. I looked up and right in front of me, the young kid on the other team took a bullet dodgeball right to the face. He went down like a ton of bricks. Go team!!! Mike said that the guy on our team, Scott, that hit the kid threw it harder than anyone he'd seen so far.

Check out my cat-like agility. Doesn't our team look like we mean business!!!

An action shot. These guys would get a running start and then hurl that little ball. Scott is getting ready to unleash on someone. This could have been the face shot for all I know.

Anyway, back to the game. It sounds like all is going well, right. A crotch shot and a face shot. What more could a team ask for?? I'll tell you what, two actual players rather than two lamo girls that sit behind a desk all day. Well, that's what it came down to. Two lamo girls were all that remained of team Sitting Dux. Before I even knew what had happened, I sense that it's me and Kelly left and one other person from the other team. If Kelly and I had even half a brain between us, we'd have just moved back and tried to out last the other team until time ran out. Then we'd have won. But before I knew it, Kelly was hit. Then, my worst nightmare came true. It was just me and this other dude in a stand off. I looked up and there was 43 seconds left on the clock.

I'm in the middle of the gym with all eyes on me. God, this sucks!!! I don't hear my team giving me any words of encouragement. Not that it would have helped any. I had such a rag arm. I couldn't throw those little balls to save my live. I didn't want to just lob it over there because then he'd catch it and I'd be out. So, I tried to keep it hard and low. I had two balls and he had two balls. I gave him a fake throw, he flinched just a bit. Then I let loose on him. Not even close. It wasn't long until I was hit. Game over. Dodgeball over. Team done. It was one and done.

Check out our cool shirts though. Thanks to Dawn, John and Kathy for the shirts. If nothing else, we had the coolest team name and shirts. If those three guys would have had anyone else on their team, they'd have gone far. As it turned out, the team that beat us won the whole thing!!!

Well, we learned some valuable lessons this year and we'll be back and re-tooled for next year. Although, I think word will be out about my athletic inability and it'll be even harder to recruit for the team. I doubt that Scott and Josh will want to be associated with the Sitting Dux next year. I'm going to get me one of those little dodgeballs and start taking aim at the dogs so I'll be prepared for next year's tournament.
You can go to this site to see a video montage of the event.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mr. & Mrs. Mull

Our niece, Asheigh, got married this weekend. We used to tease Ashleigh that she just made up this supposed boyfriend of hers. Jason, her now husband, was always 'working' whenever Mike and I were around. Well, I guess she showed us. She went and married this fictional boyfriend. Asheigh is a genuinely nice, sweet, caring young lady. Jason seems like he's a good guy who loves Asheligh very much. We, of course, wish them never-ending happiness.

The wedding went off without a hitch (as far as I could tell). Ashleigh looked beautiful, as always. The family did surprisingly well. I just knew there would be lots of waterworks but everyone seemed to hold it together. Ashleigh and Jason seemed to be enjoying themselves and didn't look nervous at all. The kids in the wedding party were entertaining but didn't steal the show.
Ashleigh and Jason drove away from the church in a very cool classic Mustang.

They actually just drove around the block and came back to the church for pictures.

The light is bad but this is Mike's parents and the proud grandparents.

The proud father of the bride.

The happy couple leaving the church to a shower of bubbles. Of course Mike splashes Ashleigh with the liquid from the bottle rather than actually blowing bubbles. At least he didn't hurl the actual bottle at them.

Ashleigh trying to stuff her dress in the car. I don't know if you noticed, but Jason is a rather tall fellow. He looked a bit cramped in the car too.

The wedding party. There were 8 attendants and six kids. WOW!!

This cutie was a 'miniature bride'. She wore a mini replicia of Ashleigh's dress.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Heard While Watching the Cowboys Game

In addition to the never ending 'updates' on how his fantasy team was pounding my underperforming, sorry excuse for a fanstasy team, I got to hear the following:

We had to watch the game on mute because of a certain announcer who will be named later:

"The officials gave the Titans 14 points!!"

"Phil Sims is a dumb ass!!"

He emailed CBS to complain that Phil Sims is a dumb ass.

"The officials only call penalties against the Cowboys!!"

"If they overturn this call I'm throwing something at the TV!!"

"It was the officials fault that we lost to the Redskins!!"

"He can run for Miles and Miles and Miles". A not so clever reference to Dallas receiver Miles Austin.

"Phil Sims is a dumb ass!!"

"I'm gonna stop watching football."

And my personal favorite:

"Break him in half and then jump on his face!!!"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Mother Land

Last trip post!!! We left Banff and headed back to the States. On the road to Idaho, four rams crossed the road right in front of us. We'd never seen these before on any of our travels. We'd been seeing signs warning about them but had yet to see any. We pulled over and did a little stalking. It was exciting because they didn't care about how close we got. They crossed back across the road and climbed a bit up the rocks. They just stared at me as I took pictures.

We stayed the night in Spokane, Washington. This was my first time in this state. We got up the next morning and heard some brief weather report that mentioned there was a wind advisory. Didn't really think anything about it. Well, we sure were thinking about it as we made our way to Seattle. This was hands down the worst time either of us has ever had on a bike. We've ridden in rain, snow, heat...but this wind was horrible. It was actually scary at one point. I've never really been scared on the bike before either. I've ridden on the back of sport bikes at track days and haven't been scared. This wind would literally move the bike around. We pulled over to take a break just before we crossed this bridge.
It was a very slow drive the rest of the way to Seattle. I was sooo glad to finally get there. We spent two days in Seattle.

We didn't go up in the needle because it cost $18 a person. What a rip off!!

This is the waterway in downtown Seattle.

This is the famous Pike's Place Fish Market. It was kind of hard to find. It reminded me a bit of the markets in Morocco.

There were lots of vendors selling flowers. They were very affordable. A bundle like above was $5-$10.

We watched what looked to be a homeless guy play chess with someone else. They were really good. It was just a neat thing to see. You don't see that in downtown Statesville.

We flew home from Seattle. It was a great trip with everything from the remoteness of Alaska to the big city of Seattle. I can't wait for our next adventure.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

McBride to Banff

I know, I'm getting tired of the vacation posts too. I'm almost done and since I just don't have the creative energy for any more scrapbooks, I'd at least like to document out trip through these lame and boring posts.

I actually have pictures from this day's ride. We had not originally planned to go to Banff but had extra time so we went. First we went through Jasper National Park. It was overcast so that was a bummer. Then I lost the ticket we bought to get into the park and thought we were going to have to pay twice but the sweet ticket taker took pity on us and let us by without a ticket. I love Canadians.
We hit our third province on this day.

Jasper was really beautiful but like I said it was overcast so I didn't get too many good shots. We did pull over at this waterfall.

Of course I get up there and my camera runs out of battery (which happens quite a lot, I think it's the constant turning on and off). So I had to trek back to the back. When I return, this is the site I see...

Yeah, that's Mike. Climbing up to the waterfall. Wait, it gets better...

He still has his helmet on!!!! What the #$%^!!!! He looks like a Power Ranger. I think he scared all the kids away. I don't know why he was acting so silly. So, from this embarrassing moment on, any time we stopped to take in the sites, the helmet stayed on!! Super fun!!

Lake Louise was in the area so we made sure to see it. No pictures posted though. This is a ritzy place with a Fairmont (very expensive hotel, google it). I really didn't see what the big deal was. So, then we were off to Banff. Banff is not but maybe an hour from Lake Louise and it too has a Fairmont hotel. We met a nice couple in Lake Louise who were from the area. They said that Banff has a lot of Asian tourist. They said that when times were good companies in Japan would send their executives and their families to Banff as a treat. Sure enough, there were lots of Asians in Banff.

This was just a random shot along the way.

We get to Banff and it is pretty small but a nice place. Below is the Fairmont they had. Just for kicks we stopped to ask about the rooms for the night. I think they were starting at over $400. We passed. This hotel is over 100 years old. We decided to try a bed and breakfast. The place we stopped was full for the night but the owner was so nice. She gave us a brochure of the B&Bs in the area, recommended one, and let us use her phone to call. She even gave us cookies too!!

We stayed in a ladies basement for $100 that night. It was very nice. B&Bs are the way to go. She was just outside of town but we could still walk into town for dinner.

This is the Fairmont in Banff.

This big fella was right in town. There is a river in the middle of town and he was just grazing by the river. Obviously hunting is not a big tourist activity in Banff.

This is where we had dinner this night. Mike was going to buy a shirt but they only had extra large.

Our next stop is our last...Seattle!!!